Family Business Travel

My second son Aaron, traveled with me to London for a business meeting a couple years ago. We were travelling with Virgin Atlantic ( best airline!) via Barbados, and I used the opportunity to meet with a major business customer. Aaron, had never been to Barbados, and was quite pleased to meet with the customer, and see  a bit of the island. The sea surrounds everything and he enjoyed lunch over looking the beautiful ocean with our client. It was in his opinion a great place for a business meeting with excellent food!
Aaron, is a Manchester United Soccer fan ( we call it football)  and can also be considered a gamer. He is in a 'stuffy traditional career'- accountant, and an entrepreneur, as is my elder son. The genesis of this post is actually based on a conversation he was sharing with his brother. I was eavesdropping and enjoyed the experience, though I did jump in at the end! 

Gaming requires engagement!

"You are, either a part of a team or on your own, but there is constant engagement." Aaron's voice changes when he speaks to his online gaming friends. He tries to slow down his words and adopt sometimes an accent which can be understood based on the country of the player's origin. In the excitement, there must be control, otherwise the other person will not understand what is being communicated.
Gaming he advised, "helps to train your mind to think strategy, communication and engagement. It helps with focus and consistency." As he spoke I listened intently. It was always my assumption, he was wasting time on the computer. Stereotyping these online games negatively can be a parental misstep, I now admit.
He also advised, "gaming helps to understand human behavior," as he related an incident when he was part of a team and there was a war. The strongest team kept winning, and another team wanted to join forces with his team to eliminate them in a battle. The team tried to bully his team, advising if they did not accept the invitation to join, they would eliminate them when they got stronger.
Bullying tactics do not work in engagement - Aaron advised his team not to accept the invitation, as their survival would be in jeopardy if that rival team won.  As he explained to his team-mates, "negotiation requires a basis of trust and respect, not coercion and disrespect." Wise words from this gamer/accountant!
Engagement requires interaction!
Can a 'like' or a 'follow' be considered interaction? Sharing online indicates that there can possibly be an exchange taking place resulting in a tangible movement towards a benefit for both parties.
If I offer a product for sale, someone can buy it and not use it or remember they have it. Another customer can use the product purchased and advise of satisfying experience by sharing of opinions. 

  •  The product is received and exchanged by both persons- like
  • Giving a referral, or recommendation- share
In both cases, a sale is completed, but one increases  in value.
Understanding, why people behave as they do requires listening, observation, and interaction. This is my conclusion based on  my own experiences.
For many people, time is a factor in their level of engagement, and accepting their presence for showing up has a lot of merit. Maybe reading, was cathartic, much needed at the end of a long day, and they simply needed to be with you. Their gratitude for you , you may never know. 

  • No words, just your presence- views
The race is against ourselves not the clock. When we make a conscious move to slow down, we can enjoy relationships and communication. This is relevant in our online presence and general  daily living. 

  • There is  joy which comes from sharing words and engaging in conversation - comments.

The Soccer Game

Soccer (football) is a contact sport. It is also an engaging sport, which joins strangers seated or standing in a bond of mutual engagement - whatever team they support!
Aaron went to his first Manchester United game in Manchester City, UK  on our business trip. His love for the team inspired a season pass seating, in a great location at the stadium from our customer. He made friends with strangers seated around him, and in the trains on his way back to the hotel. They engaged, and he lived his most memorable experience, through engagement!
This is the first of a series on Engagement and Communication from my experiences and discussions. Collectively I've amassed over 30 years  experience in the business of people, sales, marketing, business development and entrepreneurship . I'm hoping my experiences shared will give some practical examples of how much we have in our own back yard. Keep your seat-belt on, as this journey will make you feel something!
Engage with me if you enjoyed this post, and share your feedback with your colleagues and friends. If you disagree with anything I've shared, please share and lets have some great discussions!
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